RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA has officially charged Uruguay's Luis Suarez with biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the teams' World Cup match, a process that could lead to a suspension for Uruguay's best offensive player.
FIFA announced early Wednesday that its disciplinary committee has opened proceedings against Suarez, just hours after the end of Tuesday's match.
If the panel finds Suarez guilty of assaulting an opponent, FIFA rules call for a ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months.
FIFA asked the team to present evidence, which can include video recordings, by 5 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) Wednesday.
A decision must be published before Saturday, when Uruguay plays Colombia in a round-of-16 match at Maracana stadium.
Uruguay advanced by beating Italy 1-0 on Tuesday in Natal. One minute before the decisive goal, Suarez clashed with Chiellini and was caught by television cameras apparently biting his shoulder.
Match referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico appeared not to see the incident and took no action.
Brazil's World Cup has been a high-scoring tournament featuring late goals, comebacks, full stadiums and underdog stories, but the bite was got much of the global attention Tuesday.